Please review the offerings for the coming year (Fall 2021 through Summer 2022).
You will see that the options ask for sustained attention and engagement. Our hope is that we, likely mostly white people, will undertake the learning to explore what has happened and what we may do to manage the implications in our own lives and in the lives of others affected more harshly than we have likely been. Many have noted that racial justice learning and work is primarily for white people to do, less so for people of color. With that insight in mind, we invite you to register for one (or more) of the following options:
Option A: Re-learn U.S. History
This invitation offers you to participate in a series of eight sessions by reading and discussing a book (Collective Amnesia: American Apartheid by Eugene D.Betit [Xlibris 2019]) that makes visible the last four centuries of racism in the U.S. The main point is to explore the persistence and pervasiveness of the phenomenon and to see more clearly the many impacts it has had. The sessions will be Wednesday mornings, 10:45 am until 12 noon, on the following Wednesdays: November 10, 24; December 8, 22; January 5, 19; February 2, 16. Sr. Barbara Green, OP, will organize and chair those general discussions sessions. She has taught nonviolence at the college level and has been engaged in practical justice work.
Option B: White Fragility: Unwitting Participation in Racism
This opportunity will come in the form of a virtual discussion group of eight Zoom sessions, held on Monday afternoons, 3-4:30 pm, as follows: November 8, 22; December 13; January 3, 10, 24; February 7. The discussion text will be White Fragility (Robin DiAngelo [Boston: Beacon, 2018]); she provides us the opportunity to see more clearly where and how white people continue, however unwittingly, to participate in and benefit from white status. In a group, we will have scope to explore and respond to experiences of discomfort as we recognize our experiences. The group will be facilitated by Ms. Maureen Bennett, Sr. Barbara Green, and Ms. Sally Karste, who have done previous group work with the book.
Option C: Confronting Racism
We will view a series of films exploring variously tendencies and resolves to sweep racism under the rug and also the courage and persistence to confront it, with study and discussion questions provided by Ms. Linda Pete; the films can be viewed when convenient and then zoom sessions will be scheduled for those choosing to discuss issues in common. This option is designed and co-led by Linda and Sr. Patricia Dougherty, OP, educators who led the series last year with nine films, study questions, discussion process. Discussions will be Thursday evenings once a month, with the first one scheduled for Thursday evening, November 18, 7-8:30 pm. Dates are Nov. 18, Dec. 16, Jan 27, Feb. 24, Mar. 24, Apr. 28, May 26.
With the hope that engaged and sustained participation in one or more of these options will prompt you to learn more, we have two more offerings in mind and are on the drawing board for Spring of 2022. We will provide more specific information, dates, and a sign-up invitation as soon as we can, hoping as well that these can be in-person events, @Grand.
Please anticipate these:
Option D: Engaging White Privilege – Courage and Skills in Addressing Racism
This in-person highly interactive seven-hour seminar focuses on two aspects of exploring and confronting our racism: (a) Recognizing the ubiquitous nature of institutional and structural racism: Every system from education to health care to law enforcement is rife with inherent disparities and injustices based on race. (b) Learning somatic tools to address the internal discomfort and the difficulties of talking about race. These tools are surprisingly simple, easy to learn, and profoundly powerful for mitigating stress and anxiety, allowing us to show up for anti-racism as well as other challenges, bringing our courage and best judgment. These tools facilitate access to our best wisdom, experience, and intuition at the moment. The presenters/facilitators are Jennae Wallach, Peace Educator and Public Health Consultant, and Alanya Synder, Educator and Anti-racism Organizer. Date TBA
Option E: Engaging White Privilege – Courage and Skills in Exploring and Addressing Our Racism
A class under consideration, deepening on interest: This seminar is designed for a smaller group of people (12-15 participants) and will use Circle practices and small group conversations to build collectively our capacity for the inner and relational work of anti-racism. The time commitment is approximately 20 hours over five to six weeks, with homework between sessions. Jennae Wallach and Alanya Snyder will again be the presenters/facilitators. Option E would be offered after the completion of option D, though option D is not a pre-requisite for participation in E.
The Dominican Sisters offer an online Resource List, recommending diverse genres of materials to investigate and study: books, articles, films, podcasts, etc.